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Pregnant? Enjoy the added layer of parental guilt while you sip your latte through  chemically-infused paper straws


Ah, here we are, giving ourselves standing ovations for finally making an “eco-conscious” choice with paper straws. But lo and behold, Food Additives and Contaminants comes along and douses our green parade with a bucket of reality. Turns out, our new eco-heroes are not exactly the saviours we’ve been led to believe. Who knew? Oh wait, probably the scientists we ignored.


Photo by Annie Spratt

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So, we swapped the Devil We Know (plastic straws) for the Devil We Just Met (paper straws) in the hopes of being a smidgen less terrible to Planet Earth. Sounds like a good idea, right? But oh, the irony! We’re not saving the planet; we’re just slurping our green tea frappés through laboratory experiments. Yummy! Apparently, these little cylinders of paper-based virtue signalling come with their own chemical treatments.

Unfortunately, paper straws are not only bad for the environment. If you’re pregnant or have little Timmy sipping his first apple juice, enjoy the added layer of parental guilt and medical mystery as you nurture your inner eco-warrior.

But at least paper straws are recyclable, right?

Ah, the recycling conundrum: one of the great myths of our time. You’d think tossing your paper straw into the recycling bin would give it a second life as, I don’t know, an eco-friendly notebook? Nope. These bad boys will likely end up incinerating their way to air pollution or lounging in a landfill emitting methane gas like it’s a spa day.

Sure, we thought paper straws were an easy fix. We got all excited, patting ourselves on our eco-friendly backs, not realizing we’re still playing checkers while sustainability is 4D chess. Turns out, we might actually have to think a little harder. Stainless steel, silicone, or bamboo straws? Sure, they have upfront costs, but at least they don’t serve a side of guilt with your smoothie.

Thanks to Food Additives and Contaminants, the eco-scales have fallen from our eyes (if not the prime minister’s). Sometimes, the easiest solutions are just placebos for our collective guilt. So the next time you sip your organic, dairy-free, fair-trade latte through a paper straw, remember: being truly eco-conscious might involve a bit more than adopting the trend du jour.

But hey, at least it’s a conversation starter at your next virtue-signaling party, right?

| Troy Media

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